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Video Games Teach Kids To Smoke Tobacco, Drink Alcohol, Study Says

Medical Daily – Elana Glowatz

“Popular video games might make young people more likely to smoke or drink, a new study has asserted. Many of the bestselling games contain explicit use of alcohol or tobacco, implied use, or paraphernalia, and in a paper in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, U.K. researchers suggest that young people “who play these video games are more likely to have experimented with tobacco and alcohol.” The authors compared this influence to that of films, noting that exposure to alcohol- and tobacco-related content in movies makes adolescents more inclined to try the drugs themselves. However, “tobacco and alcohol content is highly prevalent in a range of other popular media, and the interactive nature of video games provides multiple opportunities to promote products and behaviors.” The team from the University of Nottingham looked at a few dozen of the bestselling video games in the U.K. in 2012 and 2013 that had avatars that look and behave like actual people, and took surveys of more than 1,000 kids between 11 and 17 years old that involved self-reported substance abuse.”(more)

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